New York, USA

Marketplace Project

makes financial learning fun by empowering elementary school students to make decisions using real money.

Students bring to life a foreign marketplace in their school and earn money for personal and community benefit. By integrating strong arts-based lessons with entrepreneurship, mandated math, literacy, and social science curriculum, students build financial confidence and a foundation for future learning with their families and their communities.

EC staff members work with teachers, administrators, and parent coordinators to adapt our financial literacy program to their existing curriculum, focusing on the many connections between financial literacy/entrepreneurship and nationally/locally mandated art, math, and language art skills

The 4th grade classes engage the whole school in the culminating project, the Marketplace Fair. Learning by doing–using real life situations and real money- engages all students, not just the academically inclined. The excitement and thrill of the residency led 40 families to request in-home financial literacy education. Working with the school and the parents, we have developed the following pilot programs:

1. The Moneybox: Games to Grow Smart Money Managers

The Money Box is loaned to families to support parent-child engagement with stories and board games to stimulate learning about money and finances in the home.

2. Financial Learning Collaboration Center:  A Place to Learn and Play

The Center is a small space in the school building that students and their families visit and bring home financial-themed books and activities for in-home learning and discussion. PS 15, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY is our model for this Center. Students purchased and donated financial themed books and materials with some of the funds they earned in their successful Market Place Fair. The newly open school library which had been destroyed by hurricane Sandy, now promotes financial literacy to students, parents and community members.

The purpose of the FLCC is to promote reading, distribute the moneybox, conduct parent education and be a place where volunteers can help students and families with financial and math education.

Build A Business / parent-student:

A short six week follow-up residency for 5th gradersbuilds on the learning from the 4th grade residency and addresses strong demand for financial learning.

Students begin by using money repaid  from the  KIVA loan they made  in the fourth grade, to make a new KIVA loan at home with their families. The power of this is that the student experts are helping us respond to 40 families’ request for in-home financial learning and opportunities for parent-student teaching moments.